Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Daily Two Cents Review: Earn from Writing

We’re all budding writers. Or at least we think we are. But not everyone realizes that there are good avenues in which to express ourselves. Avenues that pay, that is.

Content mills are one area worth considering, and once I’ve dipped my toe into this space I’ll be happy to report back. One site I have spent a lot of time on though is Daily Two Cents. In fact, it was my first proper dabble with trying to make some money online.

DTC, as it likes to term itself, is essentially all about giving you the opportunity to give your “two cents” to the world on an array of subject matters in as little as 100 words. It’s like an online magazine with you, the man or woman on the street, being the author of the articles. I’m also grouping its sister site, Writedge, into this explanation – essentially, it’s the same kind of site only the articles are intended to be longer and the subject matters are less tabloid.

How do you make money? Essentially, the more views that your articles receive the more you can earn. As long as you have a PayPal account you’ll be able to get paid.

So how does it stack up?

Good bits:
  • You can earn money from writing. Maybe you’re not a budding Shakespeare but once you’ve had a few articles accepted you can start making money. Those with a decent niche (e.g. entertainment news) and a good social media following seem to do reasonably well out of the site. You can also make money by putting affiliate links into your articles and hoping people will buy products that way.
  • Passive income opportunity. One of the things that appealed most to me was the fact that once my articles were on the site they could continue to earn money long after I’d posted them. Passive income is very important as a concept to me, and having written more than 200 articles on the site I hope to continue to make money from these “assets”, simply by promoting some of the more “evergreen” articles (e.g. "How to Boil an Egg") through my social media accounts.
  • The administrators are helpful. You don’t always get site administrators that are transparent and happy to engage in conversation. Some can be openly hostile. But I’ve found the administrators here to be very keen on creating a community and are generally happy to engage in conversation.

  • Became tougher to monetize in the last six months. I must admit  that when I first tried it out a year ago I was putting in a lot of time, writing a few articles each day and making a few dollars hear and there. My very best month came to about $30. Unfortunately, those were the good old days. My passive income is currently down to a trickle (apologies, no payment proof screen available at the moment but it is quite small), though admittedly I haven’t written on there in a long while and don’t promote my articles that often. The site works on a revenue sharing model, whereby their ability to pay you is fundamentally driven by advertising fees brought in. It seems that they were paying out too much last year and had to revise their payout ratios.  You can still make money on the sites, but it’s not going to be as easy as last year. Still, there are writers on there that are doing reasonably well out of the site, making more than my $30 high watermark on a monthly basis.

Take a look at the site. If nothing else, it will add something to your portfolio of earning options. And this may well be exactly what you’re looking for to start that writing career. 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Postloop Review: Online Income Idea

One of my first endeavors in the “trying to make money online” world was the world of Postloop. I mentioned it in a previous post so I won’t go into all the details again. Here’s the previous post: Postloop Forum Writing. To be perfectly candid, It’s not the most taxing of options, which is a big plus. You write comments on forums and blogs. Simple.

It’s also open to people around the world. So as long as you pass the test you’re not limited by your geography.

I’ve probably made about $150-$250 since I signed up for it last year (apologies the screenshot below only has the details of recent months). It’s also the sort of thing I default back to once in a while. As you can see I’ve been fairly sporadic recently

Latest Withdrawals
Jul 18th, 03:35 
Apr 19th, 09:06 
Apr 12th, 06:08 
Apr 5th, 21:11 
Mar 22nd, 10:21 

Now that I've dabbled with it for a while, I thought it would be great to discuss it once again in the context of the good bits and the challenges.

Good bits
·         It’s really a very simple way to earn money. You write a few sentences on a forum or blog, you collect points and you get paid. In cash. In your Paypal account. It really is that simple. They pay quickly and haven’t missed a payment with me.

·         There’s a bit of a community. You see a lot of the same writing monikers and avatars popping up on a variety of forums you might regularly post on. It’s not like you actually know these people but you are often familiar with their narrative and it sometimes feels easier to “converse” with them. So it’s kind of like a community…

·         There’s always work – within reason. As long as there are blogs and forums to sign up for, there is work that can be done. You have just got to have something to say and simply put that to paper.

·         It doesn’t pay great amounts. Ignore any of those YouTubes that tell you how easy it is to make $100 a day. It’s not. Yes, you can make more if you have referrals signed up (and again for transparency, if you do sign up via this blog it will be as a referral, so thanks!), but even that isn’t going to make you big money any time soon. At best, you’ll be making $5 a day, and that’s only if you put the time in to write comments on lots of forums and blogs. I’ve never had the time or energy to do that, but don’t let that stop you.

·         You're limited to how many comments you can make on a forum/blog. Occasionally, you’ll get a blog that allows for an unlimited amount of comments to be written in any given day. But more likely you’ll be only allowed five comments in a “Postloop day”, though if you time your writing right you can get another five in once they reset the clock. So unless you are subscribed to a large number of sites you can clearly see your number of entries (and earnings) capped for the day.

·         Some sites go offline. Some of your favorite sites may go offline, meaning that you won’t be able to make comments on them (and get paid) until they go back online. If they come back at all. Again, this also limits your earning power. There used to be two soccer forums on there that I found very easy to write on, and hence was making a few easy pennies that way. Unfortunately, both forums disappeared and bang went the easy cash.

·         Don’t expect all your favorite hobbies to be there all the time. You may well have a real interest in Italy or the NBA or disasters around the world. But it’s very hard to consistently find lots of forums to write on that you’ll genuinely have an interest in. Some don’t interest me in the slightest, while some are completely random at best. If you start forcing yourself to write stuff you’ve no interest in it can just become a bit of a chore. You may also find yourself penalized by the forum owners if they think what you’re writing is just plain nonsense.

One thing is clear: you most certainly won’t be retiring on your Postloop earnings alone. But there’s nothing wrong with having it as part of your portfolio, and I would recommend using it as a supplement to earnings you make elsewhere. 

If you are looking for a few easy dollars and your ability to write forum posts is passable, give it a shot. Click: Postloop - What's It All About

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Making the Most of This Blog

I've been writing this blog for a while now, sometimes consistently, very often sporadically. It initially started out as a way for me to air my musing. Some were good, some were just plain fluffy nonsense. But that was the whole idea - write some comments that may provide a bit of entertainment for readers, while massaging my ego at the same time.

Over the last year, I've started to touch more on the world of personal finance, sometimes overlapping with the world of personal development. That kind of made sense given that my background is in banking and all things finance, while I've also trained to be a life coach. The problem with providing a few vague insights here and there is that it's never clear as to how much value the reader gets from it, while there's also no real accountability for my intent behind the writing.

Because I now work for myself, I've had some time to think about where I should be directing my time and energies, and what goals I want to pursue. Fundamentally, I'm keen on building enterprises and income streams that make me less reliant on an employer, the government, a fairy godmother. I've always had an interest in passive income ideas plus, more recently, the world of online earning opportunities. And it's time for me to start taking responsibility.

So with this in mind I've decided to make a shift in this blog. In base terms, I'm going to be looking at different money-making opportunities out there, whether that is purely online concepts or interesting insights I've picked up elsewhere. It could be products, it could be services, it could even be the simple psychology behind money. I'll also be chronicling my (incredibly gradual) journey into the world of building passive income streams and creating financial freedom.

I'm not the first to try this and I'm not foolish enough to think that it will be easy or smooth. But hopefully outlining things in the blog can add some focus and accountability to my efforts. Hopefully, it can also inspire you and give you a reason for returning to the blog. It may even show you what NOT to do.

Upfront, some of the online opportunities I feature may have affiliate or referral programs attached to them, and to be transparent there may be times I get commission if you sign up. You won't be obliged to sign up, though obviously any sign up through this route will be gratefully appreciated.

Importantly, I have no intention of directing you towards any old dog of an opportunity. Hopefully I can put in place a bit of quality control. And definitely nothing illegal. The world's too full of people looking to make a quick buck or looking to shaft someone, and that's just not me. There's a karma to all of this and sharing ideas while taking a "slow and steady wins the race" approach works for me.

So this is my starting point. I'm looking forward to this little journey that we're now on!